Living Intentionally: 3 Steps to Gaining Agency

Series: Reaching Your Goals

Written by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, Intentional Insights Co-Founder and President.


Are you getting all you want? Are you achieving all of your goals? Are you living a fully intentional life?

If you are, I salute you. I can’t make the same claim. I do aspire to live more intentionally, though – I am an aspiring intentionalist.

To live a more intentional life, I constantly strive to gain greater agency, the quality of living intentionally. In doing that, it helps to take the following 3 steps:

1. Evaluating reality clearly, to
2. Make effective decisions, that
3. Achieve our short and long-term goals.

Evaluating reality well involves gaining a thorough and accurate understanding of the situation and the full extent of our options within it. Four factors obstruct our ability on this front, including:

Social prescriptions about appropriate ways of perceiving reality;
Internalized preconceptions based on our previous experiences;
Thinking errors that our brain makes due to faulty wiring;
• Finally, an emotional reluctance to face the truth of reality when that requires changing our minds and updating our beliefs based on new information.

Learning about and watching out for these challenges in a systematic manner improves our decision-making. Gaining agency in this area involves studying and practicing research-based strategies for evaluating and making decisions, and for enacting these decisions into life in an intentional manner.

In the moment, doing the latter involves having an intentional response to situations, as opposed to relying on autopilot reflexes, in order to accomplish our immediate goals. In the long term, agency involves intentionally planning one’s time and activities so that one can accomplish one’s aims in the future. You can gain agency in both the short and the long term by learning about and implementing intentional approaches to refining and achieving your goals.

As you can imagine, these things are easy to say, but hard to do. It's very helpful to get support along the way, through learning about strategies oriented toward this purpose. However, above all, it takes your own commitment to the goal of gaining greater agency over your life and living intentionally.

• What personal experiences did you have that illustrate the benefits of gaining agency and living intentionally?
What strategies have you found to be most helpful in these areas?
• What specific steps can you take to implement the strategies described here into your life?



____________________________________________________________________

Please DONATE if you found this article helpful. Intentional Insights is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and we are able to create our content only thanks to the generous support of readers like you (your donations are tax-deductible). We also invite you to volunteer and buy our merchandise. To avoid missing out on content that help you reach your goals, subscribe to the Intentional Insights monthly newsletter and RSS feed. Thank you!

Recent Posts 10

Here’s Why Your Gut Instinct Is Wrong At Work – And How To Know W

Here’s Why Your Gut Instinct Is Wrong At Work – And How To Know When It Isn’t

March 20, 2017

Avoid bad decisions by learning when to trust your gut!

How Behavioral Science Can Help Truth Triumph Over Baseless Accus

How Behavioral Science Can Help Truth Triumph Over Baseless Accusations

March 17, 2017

Current media narratives promote "alternative facts" - learn how to prevent this problem in this article.

Want To Make Smarter Decisions? It’s All About Framing

Want To Make Smarter Decisions? It’s All About Framing

March 13, 2017

Don't make bad decisions, especially about your money!

The Science of Effective Fundraising: Four Common Mistakes to Avo

The Science of Effective Fundraising: Four Common Mistakes to Avoid

March 6, 2017

Psychology research casts light on the most effective fundraising strategies

Towards a Post-Lies Future

Towards a Post-Lies Future

February 26, 2017

How do we combat alternative facts and post-truth politics?

Collaborative Truth-Seeking

Collaborative Truth-Seeking

February 20, 2017

How do we collaborate with others to figure out the truth?

Preserving Our Democracy on Valentine's Day

Preserving Our Democracy on Valentine's Day

February 14, 2017

Help your partner have great mental and physical health while improving our society on Valentine's Day!

The Science of Solving Alternative Facts

The Science of Solving Alternative Facts

February 7, 2017

How can we use science-based approaches to address lies in politics?

How I Learned to Truly Love Animals

How I Learned to Truly Love Animals

January 31, 2017

Do you love animals? Can't miss this post!

What Would Gandhi Do About Trump? High-Time For a Science Of Wisd

What Would Gandhi Do About Trump? High-Time For a Science Of Wisdom

January 23, 2017

The science of wisdom provides answers for dealing with difficult times.